On my way back from my first puppet show rehearsal (yeah, more about that later) I saw a sign. It said, “Watch for motorcycles. Check your blind spots. Share the road.” Now, I dont know what it was about that sign that made me think about politics but it did. Check your blind spots. Share the road. They seem like simple little innocuous sayings but they are not. It seems like “checking our blind spots” and “sharing the road” have become revolutionary ideas.
Being blind is not seen as an asset. It is categorized as a disability, a weakness. “Blinded by love” is to lose all of one’s common sense while under Cupid’s spell and no one wants to be “robbed blind.” But when we are driving down the highway in our vehicles of various sizes, singing our favorite songs we dont always own up to our lack of vision. “He was in my blindspot!” (Why is the driver always a man until proven otherwise?) He was in my blind spot. Like how dare he be in a place that inconveniences me. The nerve of him.
I would say its all the political talk that usually follows conventions that incited this train of thought, but its not. Recent events have introduced me to my blind spots. Two weeks ago, I had the honor to meet Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting for all the tweeps) and he made me check my blind spot that is the 12 million undocumented Americans in this country. Yeah, let that sink in. 12 million. People who work, eat, sleep, pray, live, love and are just as American as anyone else. Oh, and they drive too. We share the road with them every day. We dont ask to see their IDs before we let them pass us. We treat them with the same respect, or disrespect, that we would give any other driver. We have to; for everyone’s collective safety.
The elections are fast approaching. And though I have hope I also have concerns. Because certain political parties and players have made it clear that not only are they disregarding their blind spots but they have no interest in even admitting that there are blind spots that need to be checked. And I am very afraid to see what kind of country we will have if they get behind the wheel. Win or lose, black or white, red or blue, we will all have to share the road. There are only so many people we can run over, cars we can leave unattended and wrecks we can let disrupt the flow of traffic before none of us will be able to get anywhere. We are the potentially homicidal drunk driver on the highway to progression.
The solution is simple. Check your blind spots. Whether or not you see them, they are there. The undocumented, the homeless, the single parents, the unemployed, the homosexual, the impoverished, the mal-educated and the malnourished. Whether or not you see them, they are still there. And they have just as much nerve and just as much right to be here as you do. Share the road, so we can all get where we want to go.